Time management is a challenge when you are at your computer and temptations like e-mail, Google, and Amazon tug at you. How do you maintain focus and stay in charge of your time?
Tips to Keep You on Track and In Charge!
- Whenever possible, limit your time online to certain times of day. Schedule e-mail and Internet scans after you have accomplished items on your To-Do List.
- Close your e-mail and turn off your instant messaging and RSS feeds. Setting this boundary for yourself will really help you stay on task.
- Keep your goal in mind when you do Internet searches. Do not give in to the temptation to read the interesting links that your search uncovers. Return to your task as soon as you have the answer you need.
- Keep a running list of interesting links you uncover. Promise yourself that you will set aside time to pursue some of these later. This makes it easier to let them go NOW!
- Set time parameters for your task, so you don’t get “Lost in (Cyber)Space.” It is very easy to lose time while you are on the computer. On many calendar systems, you can set an alarm. Use this to set a stop time for yourself. If you are at home and resist switching gears, set an alarm in another room to get you out of your chair and away from the temptation. If at work, try scheduling searches right before a meeting or lunch with a colleague.
- Keep an internet log for a week. How much time do you actually spend checking the news, e-mails, and other things on the Internet? Record the time you spend and how you are spending it. Use broad categories. Make no judgments. Just record the facts. Once you have the facts, you can make informed choices.
- Keep your promise to yourself to return to the links and emails that are of real interest to you. Revisit them after all the items on today’s To-Do List are completed; reward yourself and enjoy! Keep work and play separate to make both more meaningful.
Remember, if time on the internet is taking you away from other things you need to be doing, you will do well to develop time management techniques. You have an exciting opportunity to look at your priorities and take charge of your choices! When you take more positive control of your internet activity, you will not only be finding more focus … you will also be finding time!